Columbus Ohio Temple

Monday, October 29, 2012

What day is it?!?

Hey Everyone!
I can't believe it's been another week! Time is all screwed up out here, and Every single day is the same, Sunday's aren't any different either (besides sacrament) but I don't even know what day it ever is anymore either.. Days feel like weeks, Weeks feel like days, You look forward and it feels like an eternity and for me it's like... I've only been out almost two months... Holy crap those were the longest two months of my life.. What doesn't help that fact that I have two years and makes that fact seem like an eternity is that Elder Brooks only has ten weeks left. and Elder Wheadon only has 28.. They basically have less weeks than I have months.. So it's hard for some reason. Probably just because a lot of struggles continue to happen so it's like... I have two years of this... awesome. But I'm still pressing forward so don't worry. So I don't really remember a whole lot of what happened this week. But a couple of cool things that did happen, (my comps are good with the spirit and I just follow along like a lost puppy haha) but on tuesday we were on exchanges and we had an Elder come up with us. And long story short, EVERYTHING that we had planned that day fell through.. It wasn't discouraging at all just more of like. "K cool no one is home" type of thing. So we just were going around trying to find some part member homes, no one answers and instead of going back to the car (like I was) Elder Brooks just starts walking and we turn the corner and there is this lady who is getting out of her car with an arm full of groceries, We asked to help she said no, but we told her about the message we share and asked to leave a blessing on her home. She invited us in and we prayed and then basically ended up teaching the first lesson. Gave her a BofM and a Restoration pamphlet and she was baptized Catholic, raised lutheren and now all of her family just switched to Methodist. But she said she was "church shopping" and lo and behold, We arrive, We're going back tomorrow and she's totally been studying it up and asking us questions (texting and such) so we're excited to see her again. Her name is Stina (steena) and she is single and has a stud of a three year old son named Camron. We've met with a couple of our other investigators and honestly I can't remember when we saw them but they are doing well some are slowly progressing, but we're constantly out trying to find people. We went over on one of the days... (I can't remember what day) but we went over to Tom Fugett's house, He was excommunicated at a super young age (18-19) and he had just recieved the Melchezidek (sp?) Priesthood, and did a little shaka shaka with a lady. So yeah he's like in his 50's now and has been through a lot.. He's had a hard life.. and it could have been different but it isn't but he's a good guy. Has depression (constant thoughts of suicide) PTSD, Anxiety, and has been going to therapy and now his body is crapping out on him too to where he can't get up to do things much anymore. He plays the drums to and has done a ton of concerts around this area. (oh and for those who think I reactivated Adam, I didn't that was all from the Elders before, Colleen is his wife who was baptized my first Saturday I was here which was the first time I've met the two, I'll talk about them a little bit later) But I could relate with tom on a lot of aspects maybe not the same degree or with PTSD, but I was able to be empathetic and he wants to come back it's just really hard and it'll be a crazy long process to get him back in now. like ten plus years or so (according to the bishop) But it's just sad. So back to Adam and Colleen. We've met with them often (they have us over for dinner a lot, like tonight) but they are so awesome and fun to talk with, and their little girls are cute! Madison has as much energy as Davney but also throws more fits. But Collen is definitely going through hard times too. Her entire family just gives her so much grief and crap that she doesn't need (just for being a mormon) She gets crap for having kids (and she's close to her third) That having kids is "Unprofitable" (freaking jerk) and she has a ton of problems with her Dad, He's just mean. And she tries to show her love and tries to do nice things it just always backfires and he's never there and it's just hard and sad. We talked to her about that on Friday (how to love and forgive someone who doesn't deserve it type thing) but yeah she's doing well and definitely fighting through all this. There have been a couple of families and investigators that we've been trying to get a hold of ever since I got here and I've still never met with them, One is a Less Active and her son is (maybe was) investigating but won't come to church unless his mom gets it together, but she always cancels on us (she's an alcholic) but one night she canceled on us and then we went to this previous investigators house just to see if she was still there type of thing (she investigated 5 years ago in Cali. And loves the temple (SLC) and knows the church is true just never went to church, she has been here and investigated a couple months back but the Elders dropped her cause she wasn't keeping commitments. She's a motivational speaker at other churches. Her name is Jacque (Jackie) And she is a true black women. haha holy cow. It's funny though. but we've met with her again like for 3 days in a row. And we got her to church yesterday. It's crazy. but maybe she'll finally start progressing again. There is a lot of work going on here (The mission has a goal of 500 baptisms this year and we're at 394. But we can do it) Also we're told that since conference applications for missions have gone up 700% from 600 per week to 4000 per week. Apparently a ton of girls are going which is nuts, but they can get into doors a lot easier, They don't look like the feds.. but that's crazy. I feel bad for all the Elders who leave home soon. They'll have no one to marry!! but the Elders I came out with are safe on that part cause they all get home around the time we do. It's crazy though.
Well I gotta get going, I love you all keep on writing!
Elder Bowler
P.S. sorry for those who I haven't been able to write back to, I've been crazy busy and haven't had any time besides writing these e-mails. I'm working on it though! Love you all!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Long Days...Short Weeks...

Hey Everyone!

Sorry I'm not able to get pictures on because the SD card is just dumb but I'm working on it! So this was a very interesting week... (seems like I start every letter like that, but it's true) first off thank you all for those who have sent a letter. and thanks for all the love and support from everyone. Sorry I haven't written individual letters back to the ones I've received I've just been busy, But from all the little cousins I love your letters! Thanks for telling me about your lives! I'll try to answer most everyone's questions on this. But I am receiving your letters so thank you all. So I get questions from you all about the election and all that here in Ohio. And it sucks we can't watch what's going on but we talk with the members about all that. But people do ask us about that because of Romney and the church because of him. (actually just today in the library a man came and talked to me and he first asked what our churches' standpoint on the elections were (Like we're all told to vote for Romney cause he's a Mormon type thing) so we started on that and we talked and I shared answers and all that to try and clear his mind, gave him a card for and all that. He had other questions and I tried to answer the best I could. I wasn't able to get on a computer there so I just wrote letters waiting for my companions to finish but I wasn't able to get any letter written because I talked with this guy. But whatever. So Chad (and whoever is wondering) I see a lot of signs for Obama around some of the ghetto parts around here. (and there's a lot) but that's probably cause their all on welfare. But who knows if they'll even vote too. We share a mailbox with our neighbors (whose house is connected to ours) and they get a ton of mail bashing on Romney and supporting Obama. (All just really dumb slander) like Romney in a nice boat and a quote saying "Romney's boat is bigger than mine" shows a dinky little fishing boat and a guy holding his wallet showing like two bucks in it. and just a ton of crap like that. But there is hope. I hear Ohio is pretty tied up. but in the Ghetto parts there are a lot of Obama signs. But there are Romney signs around and a lot of them aren't Mormon! Crazy! The ward I'm assigned to is pretty dang small... Like a fourth of the size in St. George. Just super tiny,  But the people are awesome. I really like the Sylvesters. Adam was a member and just recently has been reactivate and his wife Colleen was baptized a week ago. They have two cute little girls and she's about to pop with another one very soon. But their young and super fun. Adam plays the drums (yeah you better believe I was all over that! :P) but he has an electric drum kit which is totally different than anything I'm used to but it was still way fun! We got a video of me messing around and it actually sounded way cool!! I haven't had a smile that big in a long time. I've definitely have missed my drums. But that was last Monday. It's weird though because the drum "heads" (more like rock band pads) were really small. only like 8 inches. (my smallest cymbal was that big...) but still way fun. The setting I played and recorded was some weird techno thing but it turned out a lot better than I expected. So I will try and get that loaded on. So here are some of the weird things that's happened this week. Tuesday: was a hard day, I was freaking out inside and had a ton on my mind, and we went tracting and I was like "what the heck am I doing... I'm a freaking salesman.. and other thoughts were clouding my head and I'm pretty sure I had a panic attack in the car that day. Nothing too extreme but I was ready to crack it felt like. I've never had one before so that was new (Dad, it's your fault.. Just kidding. I still Love you :D, thanks for that letter again though, I printed it off today so I can read it.) But we went and talked to this Latino and there is no hope in trying to convert him. He is a stubborn Catholic but studies all religions, it was really weird. But after that I was able to calm down a bit after that. Wednesday.. I don't remember much of except all of our appointments fell through. Except Donescha {Don-ee-SHA} (one of our investigators) we talked with her and she's having a hard time accepting the need for prophets and apostles and the priesthood when the basic doctrine between out two churches is similar. but we're working on it and I invited her to be baptized (I've invited like 4 people [part of training]) but we're required to try and invite to baptism on the first visit, which is kinda weird but whatever. We do it when it's best. Donescha also came to church this Sunday too! Thursday was a good but interesting day. We went to this one house to was a previous investigator or something and no one answered went across the street and talked to this guy who just joined the Church of Christ and apparently they have set "boundaries" of what they can do with other religions. so we kept walking around the corner instead of going back to the car. Knocked on two other houses and no answer. Kept walking (now this is a decent neighborhood. not too ghetto but not extremely nice, all black people though) so we see this guy walking around in confusion, we asked if we could stop and help, and he said no but he got a call saying someone tried breaking into his house. then he asked if we were packing. (carrying a gun) and we said no, then he goes on to say that it'd be smart to in this town, especially in the neighborhood we were in. He said he preferred a 9mm but a .45 or a .38 caliber work just fine but a 357 just goes right through people... that's always a comforting thing to hear.. haha but whatever, we kept walking and we got an investigator just 4 houses down! her name is Margaret and she's probably in her early 70's. Her and her granddaughter were standing outside and we stopped and asked if we could say a prayer with them and they let us in (which is rare...) so we talked and said the prayer and after that she asked "now what is it you guys teach??" ummm sweet! this rarely happens. so we taught her and her granddaughter, Raeyon (Ray-on) and it went well. We went back the next day. taught again. (now there is more details to this than I'm writing but this is good enough haha) She has Bronchitis (probably from smoking) and we planned to meet with her again yesterday (Sunday) but we found out she got fluids in her heart and was admitted to the hospital the night before, so we went over and said hi. Super nice lady and surprisingly sharp. But back to the story. we continued walking around and talked with like four other people that day trying to find our way back to the car. now I'm running out of time for today but I'll just tell you some funny things people have said to us this past week during tracting and talking with people. 

-"Gator game is on can't talk" (football and tracting... big no-no)
-"You guys look like the Men in Black and you're scaring the F*** out of me" (should have known that was trouble by the zombie hunting permit on her car and other weird bumper stickers)
-This guy we talked to named Pat Taylor (lives by Ken Bowman) told us some interesting things. He hated his wife. But I don't blame him. they got married (got a girl prego) and 5 days after he wanted out cause he found out how she really was.. but he couldn't leave cause he would be a disgrace etc etc. But this chick had problems.. She committed suicide a few years back and he was like that was the smartest thing she's ever done. She would call him up at work just to argue. Her justification was that married people are supposed to fight (soap operas influenced that one) she told him to quit his job and they can just live on welfare (dumb) and that married people only find happiness by sex. like she thought that if they laid in bed all day naked then they're happy. (so dumb) he was telling us "And I'm like dang women! I can't go 14 times a day and I have bills to pay and all this other crap" he's had a hard life. And it was really interesting talking to him. but it was also sad. (sorry for the story on the little ones behalf) but yeah just a bunch of stuff.

There are more stories and stuff. There are a lot of interesting people. and I'm scared I'm going to get shot one of these days. Especially wearing a suit in the hood... But at the same time.. maybe people are intimidated by three guys walking around in suits. They probably think we're CIA or FBI or something, I don't know. The apartment is also scary at night.. Just sketchy. But during the day it's nice! the view is awesome (we have a ton of turtles that sun bathe in the river behind us and apparently there are snapping turtles and one missionary who is already home caught one and chopped it's head off and cooked it. the jaw bone is in our apartment and he took home the shell. Big ol' Polynesian guy. but I want to catch one... It's cold here. some days are really nice. but it is so bitter. I miss the heat. ha or the dryness.. but whatever. it's going to be a cold winter.. I love you all and miss all of you. Thank you for the love and support. I really do appreciate it. I try not to sound dramatic or anything. I just say things how they are to me. The days are long and the weeks are short. looking forward makes things seem like forever away. but it's coming along and I have great companions. Elder Wheadon and I have now picked up talking in a Mexican accent for some weird reason. (probably because we taught a hispanic and we kinda talked like that, except he originally was called Spanish speaking) but we've been doing that the last couple of days! haha it's pretty funny and it pisses Elder Brooks off but it's still funny. Like I said before there is a Piano in our house and I have started to tink around on it and have come up with like a cool little song! and also Elder Brooks has a Uke so I play that too haha! Anyways. There is a lot of work going on here and it is pretty freaking crazy! and I'm trying to keep up but yeah. just within these last two days our mission has gone from 171 Investigators to 225... yeah that's nuts. one zone alone got 45. It's just crazy. Ok I'm done now. Until next week!! Love ya all!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hit the ground, running...

Hey Everyone!
First off, Thank you dad for that letter. It's is hard for sure though, but I know that could help. It's just hard and frustrating for me to get myself to do that when I feel everything is so hard. But yeah we'll see what time has in store for me!
K so to catch everyone up, I am alive and I finally have my first P-Day (mondays) Sorry I haven't been able to get pictures going and all that but I will try next week. So it has definitely been an interesting experience to be here and finally on my mission. Wednesday as we were flying (we actually flew to Phoenix first, I should have just had someone come pick me up from there ;)) we were coming in over Ohio and it's flat... I thought it had some moutains or something at least, but it's all flat. I miss the mountains and all of that and can't wait to see those again. On the plus side though there are a ton of trees and it's fall so the grass is so green and the trees are all changing colors! I love it, I love fall! So my President and his wife and two assistants came to pick us all up at the airport and we meet them and all that. We walk outside and it is cold (and windy, which makes the cold worse)... and now I know what "bitter/bone-chilling" cold is... ha I can never get warm even when my outside temp. feels warm, my bones are just cold.. so I need to hurry and get some winter clothes fast. So the first night we spent at the mission home and ate there with the president's family and he talked to us and then after we cleaned everything up we sat in the living room and talked with the president's wife while he was interviewing each of the 15 of us individually. He is the kind of man who is a little on the intense side and doesn't take any crap, definitely and business man. So when it was my turn to talk with him privately, the first thing he says is "you wanna tell me what's going on?" and I was like umm ok? ha so I asked if the MTC had sent him like a bio of what's been going on. so we talked and he was a little intense and one of the first things he said was something like "well if you're not going to do your best, then we might as well get you on a plane tomorrow" I'm not even in the field for a whole day and I get someone else asking if I should just go home.. Maybe it's a sign or something and wonder if I should have taken those opportunities to come home and try and figure things out instead of out here on a mission, But I told him I wanted to stay and grow and figure things out, and he was like well then you really gotta commit and do your best etc etc. anyways that goes on for a while and I end up staying, Not with the best first impression of my President, He's definitely a great guy and does a great job at running all of this, and definitely good and getting more baptisms, they have a goal of 500 for this year, pretty crazy.
So the next day we have a transfer meeting where we get our new comps and they taught all the newbies for a bit too. So I met my comps and got my zone and area. So, I have to companions, so we're in a tripanionship, Elder Brooks and Elder Wheadon. (weedon) and you'll never guess where the start of my mission is at.... Dayton.. Ha pretty ironic since grandpa steurer was born there! Now my Zone is Dayton my area is more in Englewood and is actually a pretty big area. So we're a driving area and we have a man van (mini-van..) so my comps got a ride from a member who actually just returned from his mission a few weeks ago from St.George... small world. So we drive back and pick up an extra mattress from his house so we can have three beds at the apartment. So we drop everything off and then get right to work.. they showed me the apartment first. we live right along a polluted river (people throw dead animals and all sorts of other stuff in this river) but we do have a ton of beautiful trees in the back and the river makes it look cooler. The houses are all kind of old and ghetto in a sense, but it's still pretty cool. There's big windows looking out the back and my seat for planning and such faces all that. and it's like the only apartment here with a weight set! and a piano :) So the three of us are crammed into this small apartment with small rooms and I feel like elf in the bathroom... the toilet is so small and close to the wall, there was a 350 pound poly that lived here and I wished I could see him work his way around. So we get right to work and go to this one area that's near Dayton bounderies.. and it's ghetto. ha I'm like scared I'm going to get shot one of these days. So we went knocking and it's a lot more comforting with three of us, but on the contrast they just talk and know all this crap and I'm lost and confused. One of the lady's who answered the door who's named was Kenya seemed interested and we got her number and all that and we taught her on her doorstep (as how we've done with a lot of these potential investigators)( I still haven't been inside a home yet except for a couple of members and Ken Bowman's....That was an experience...) So we also went around the complex and Ken Bowman (a less-active guy) lived right around the corner so we knock on his house and wait and nothing happens and so as we're walking away this older guy opens the door and we talk, introduce ourselves and ask to come in to talk and share a message. Now... All he is wearing is like a short robe that doesn't do a good job at covering anything up.. and that's ALL he is wearing... so he leads the way and as we're walking in to his house he bends over to pick something up and I am now scarred for life... Yeah. totally saw his junk and it was not normal either (I won't go into too much detail on that).. Not even out doing this for 2 hours and already experience this. ha I swear... and it doesn't get anybetter than that... His house belongs on the show "Hoarders" crap was piled everywhere the house was dark and he had just enough room to move to his computer and his bedroom. he can't even get to the kitchen or couch or anything. So I'm guessing if he isn't on his computer (naked probably) he's laying in bed naked. So we talk for a bit give him a blessing and all that and leave.. I struggled breathing for a while after from all the dust and crap. It's sad. He also suffers from PTSD from war and has gone through a lot. So I haven't had any real discussions yet but we find people and try and talk to them get there numbers and ask a date to come back. So we have a lot of potential investigators. Saturday there was a baptism (no I didn't have anything to do with that) but it was cool, I would have never guessed Colleen (that's her name) was ever an investigator. She seemed like every other mormon out there. She was just nice friendly and had this glow. pretty cool and we have dinner with them tonight and her husband Adam (who was less-active now reactivated) plays the drums!! YESS!! So we talked about that and they're just a really cool family! There's a lot more experiences but a lot is just going around finding people and teaching them on their doorsteps and saying a prayer with them, My comps are definitely led by the spirit and I hope to be like them one day. They've both been out for a Year-Year & a half. aaannnd they're zone leaders which means they do a lot more stuff which means bed at 10:30 hasn't or probably won't happen. We average around 11:30-Midnight but last light was at 2... so I'm mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted and it is definitely hard and I feel very little and alone. I've vented a lot to my comps and they're just great guys and I don't have any problems with them so that's definietely a huge plus. but I'm still working on things, they haven't gotten much better but I'm trying, I'm really missing home and It's hard not being able to hear from anyone. I don't get dear elders anymore unless you pay for postage to get it here but everyone!! PLEASE send letters! keep me posted on what's going on! Send it to my mission home so it'll for sure get to me. But it's hard not knowing anything that's going on! So please send letters whenever! and if you send packages send it as first class or priority mail so that it can be forwarded to me. Past couple days definitely have been hard and I want to come home but I won't. I'm still praying for help but it's taking a lot longer than I want it to... Not much I can do there. but sometimes I wonder if I should have taken the 2 tickets home. But I won't give up that easy. Satan never gives up and makes everything so much harder and really tries my beliefs and faith and testimony... I really can't wait to punch him cause he's making my life hell... But I'm still treking onward trying the best I can. Thank you all for your support, your love, and prayers. Send pictures and keep writing me whenever! I love getting mail! Love you all and miss all of you!
With Love,
Elder Derrek William Bowler
P.S. The mission home address is;
(my full name)
Ohio Columbus Mission
19 Clairedon Dr.
Powell, OH 43065

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Made it to Ohio...

This is the email Derrek sent to me last night before he left the MTC.  He made it to Ohio.  We heard from him about 9:00 pm, his time.  He had to call Lexi because that was the only phone number he could remember.  He couldn't remember ours (they are quite new).  He's nervous about starting the real thing.  He'll sleep at the mission home tonight and then they have an orientation (there are 14 that came into the mission of them is Derrek!) and go to their apartments and then get to work.  Anyway, keep praying for him.  He still seems down.  I pray that he gets a companion that will help him and have patience and teach him well.  Anyway, here's what he said last night...

Hey once again... So just to tell you about my last night here in the MTC. So we had a devotional like we do every tuesday, and tonight we got to hear from David A. Bednar!! Pretty awesome way to end the night. My spirits are up just a little. They have a choir here so they sang too which was cool and yeah. It was a good way to end the MTC. I hope that I continually get better and start to progress. So that's just what happened and I'm going to be in Ohio next time I write! so yeah!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Leaving for Ohio...

Hey Everyone!
So... Where to begin...? Well I guess I'll start with what's been going on... JK first I want to thank everyone for the Love and support, I hope no one thought I was complaining (well more like frustrated maybe?) or that I was trying to be all dramatic and seek some pity or attention that's not the case, I just say what's been going on and how it is affecting me so yeah. So basically, It's been another usual, repetative week besides conference and the fact I've seen a bunch of kids from school. which is cool. The only other difference was that on friday we had an in-field orientation. which was pretty cool, different kind of learning (less of how to teach and more of everything else) so it was good and they switched it up and so it wasn't the same each segment they taught. we also had like two hours each for lunch and dinner which was awesome, and then conference was pretty cool here at the MTC, I actually paid attention for all of it. And the gym (where they hold the big devotionals and firesides and also conference) was all in shock with the news of the age change for men and got quiet right when he announced the girls age change, then everyone was in more shock. It's pretty crazy and I think will help a lot of men get on there mission.. and giving the girls the chance to serve instead of debate between a mission or marriage. So, Alec... get your papers in so you leave like maybe a week after graduation. Satan is real and he will make your journey harder. I feel bad for the guys who wait a year after graduation to go, I only like four months after graduation and only a month and a half after my call till I entered the MTC, and that about killed me. and Satan tries harder once you get your call, and when you are sitting idle, (like I was) so get on your mission. Satan is just as real here in the MTC. I thought that I wouldn't have to worry about him during my time here but I was wrong, and he's making all of this so much harder than I want right now. So yes there is a stronger spirit but that doesn't mean he won't stop trying and it is hard, and he is always there waiting for his attack. He puts thoughts into my head that just mess with me, get me so worried and sick and then I get frustrated of "why the heck is this in my head, focus Derrek!" and I try hard to not think about things, but it is hard. So Alec and also Calvin (when your time comes) get in fast and you'll be glad you did, I don't want you guys to ever struggle like I did or am. Figure out before you go that this is right, this is all true, gain a testimony and stick with it. I get the lovely chance of doing all of that too late. But at the same time if I wasn't here I'd still be on the couch in AZ, instead of figuring things out and fixing things here where I'm kind of "forced" to. On monday, (yesterday) 6 members of our 10 in our district headed to New Mexico early morning, so we still had class and all that and it was weird with just four of us. And we also got a new teacher for one day... which was also weird. that night though we did have a class with our other teacher Brother Sebesta. (little short dude ha) and it was cool, it was a different kind of lesson. more personal. he had us teach our comp as our comp (not a made up investigator) and the dam broke and all the crap I've been holding in came out through my eyes, nothing has really gotten better with how I feel, I also talked to the psychiatrist again as a check up and told him the same things, and he up'd the dosage of the anti-depressant. we'll see if that has anything. I am going to Ohio tomorrow, we leave at 4am.... it's gonna be a long day... so I packed everything today and am getting things ready. We'll se how the field treats me and if anything starts to change. I need something to click or be fixed so I can function normally. I've been ever so blessed to have every stupid thing on both sides of the family genetics packed down into me... YAY! haha... ugh. whatever, such is life. I'm managing to put one foot in front of the other, I feel I'm blind, I'm trying to have faith and look for answers but have a hard time seeing them or feeling them or even noticing them. (and maybe that's cause my brain isn't working right), but It's the best I feel I can do. I am trying to figure things out, but everything, and I mean everything is a struggle, and I've never felt so hopeless and empty in my life. and I've had low moments but it just keeps getting worse sometimes and It's hard to imagine or see my life being any different than me struggling like this for forever. I want to be happy more than anything and be able to be happy and excited for others but it's all numb or not there. I am blessed with great roomies and teachers and friends here and at home. thank you all for your prayers and love. I'm trying the best I can and praying constantly.... I'm allowed to call home tomorrow if I have time in the airport, so we'll see how that all plays out. It's crazy that I'm done with the MTC.. but I'm still walking and praying, thanks again everyone for the letters, love, and support, I don't want to let you down or dissapoint or make anyone feel I'm just a waste. but yeah, I'm trying... Love you all!
Elder Derrek Bowler.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Update from Derrek...

Well I know today isn't my P-Day but I feel I need to just let you guys know what's happened just yesterday since I've last written. So I'm still kinda struggling with the same things but last night (tuesday) we have another devotional, and Elder and Sister Ellis spoke to us, and The Lord is telling me to stay. Their talks (along with Holland's) Is telling me to stay and endure till the end. I have no clue what the Lord has in store for me or who is out there, but I'm trying to exercise as much faith as I can that my prayers will be answered and I will gain a testimony so I can teach the people of Ohio, I'm trying to have faith that the Lord will help me to be happy and to help me acheive the desires of my heart, (the whole feel thing and such {I care about that cause I want to better love people in my life, especially the people of Ohio}) But today I went and talked to the psychiatrist and he suggested some anti-depressants, and Omega 3 (fish oil basically) to help with the way I'm feeling and to hopefully get some motivation and desire and to also help with the numbness..... I hate fish, but I told the Lord that if this is the problem and what's holding me back from progressing in the way I need then I will take whatever I'm given. But just know that I'm hanging in there and I'm doing progressively better. Thanks to all for the support and love you give, I appreciate it and I love you all!! All the newbies are coming in again and I swear it was yesterday that we had newbies and it's already been a week... time seriously flies when you look back... feels like eternity when you look forward... like I said, days are long (and kinda fast) but the weeks fly. I love and miss you all!  (10-3-12)

Week 2 - Getting help :)

Hey everyone!
First off, thanks for sending that stuff mom! I don't need envelopes, I bought some here and I have like 7 stamps, I'm not able to get on the blogs here at the MTC but we'll see how it is in the field. and I can't get any pictures sent here either. Maybe in the field for that as well... Could you possibly send like 75 bucks so I can get my luggage to Ohio? we'll be reimbursed. (sp?)
So! This past week has definitely been an interesting one... I don't think I've struggled with anything so much in my life. This is truly harder than I ever anticipated. I felt as soon as I walked through the doors I would just know that this is where I'm supposed to be, which didn't come.. I was rushed into everything and was a couple hours late and had no time to adjust or anything and yeah.. but after the first couple days my lack of a strong testimony (of the things which I'm supposed to teach) became very apparent to me. Ha so I struggled with that and I'm still struggling with that. Like the basic things like, Is God really there and does he really love me, is the church true, did Joseph Smith really see god and was he real too, is the BoM true, etc etc.. Really frustrating and stressful. Especially with the 16 hour days, struggling with my companion and just being here in general, feeling like I'm in a "correctional facility" and in a fishbowl being in my classroom 24/7. So there is this lady who kinda helps teach you how to study better and I would kinda talk to her about what I'm struggling with. So she suggested I go and see this counselor guy (which I was skeptical about) but I went... and I'm not sure how I still feel about that experience. I had to say everything again to him, and I told him how I need my personal space, and how I see the beautiful mountains and just want to hike them. And such... (family, lexi, feelings, frustrations. all that too) So first thing he said was I have to have both feet here. I can't have one foot here and one foot in the mountains kinda thing, and I see his point, I just don't like how he said it. He told me to "fake it till I make it" that I have no right to send anyone a discouraging letter and on and on... not the best experience but whatever. I don't fake how I feel or think, and I won't lie to anyone about it either. So after a while he said he could get me a ticket home if I really didn't want to be here anymore. (now I'm struggling with this thought, cause I feel I'm wasting my time, the lord's time and everyone's money and efforts, and now it's a possibility, I never really had the "I know" experience with the mission, there was a ton of pressure and I kinda went through the motions, I did want to strengthen my testimony and foundation and knowledge of this church and thought what better way than this, so that's one reason I'm out here. still not working how I thought it would.) now we continued to talk and he asked if I've been treated for anxiety or depression or anything. and I said no so he said before we finalize anything let's see if that's one of the main things. now I don't think I've ever had any of that or any sort of anxiey (maybe that's why my breathing was so labored, but that's better now) but started to think that depression could be a very likely thing in my life, which sucks, cause I hate the fact that I have something wrong with me or that I have to rely on pills to make me better and stuff like that. But I feel I've been this way for as long as I can remember. I can't remember when I've been truly and completely happy, now I've had happy moments and good moments and have times when I laugh super hard but then for some reason I go back into this slump. He also said that's prolly why I have such a hard time feeling and being receptive to the spirit (which is really frustrating, especially being here and then trying to teach by the spirit and having a hard time feeling it there) and also having feeling in my heart. (That's the greatest thing I desire and need right now, is to have feeling and to be receptive to feeling in my heart. It just feels like it's just there to keep me alive, and the best way to express it is that I want to feel with my heart... NOT my mind. cause I can think and say to myself yeah they love me, they tell me so I can believe it, but I want to FEEL things, I want to FEEL loved, by those closest to me and who express it. and most importantly, I want to feel God's love. I don't know why I always feel numb or empty inside and maybe that's because of "depression" so I've really been praying for god to change my heart so I can love more fully and to love his children and to feel their love for me and I'm trying to have faith thathe will, so maybe with the help of pills and such that may be the first steps? I don't know sorry for that tangent) anyways I also have no motivation or desire to do anything and that's hard because I try and do things but then I just lose all that motivation and just lose focus and such. He said that could be the "depression" also. He said something about fish oil to help get cretanin or something like that back up to fight depression. But he suggested I go over to clinical services really figure out if something is wrong. So I went and did that... talked to another guy having to reexplain everything again... then all he did was suggest I talk to the psychiatrist on wednesday (tomorrow) to get diagnostics... pretty freakin obnoxious if you ask me.... so that is that! oh and with the whole staying or going I decided I'll stay and really try and endure as much as can possibly take. On sunday we had a "film" (recorded devotional) and we decided to watch one by Elder Holland... "Missions for life" and it wasn't any answer to any prayer I've said (at least I don't think) but like everyone says this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. and mainly what I got out of it was stick around a little longer, answers will come (at least I'm hoping and praying they do, cause if something doesn't happen soon I don't know how long I can "endure") but with that I'll try my best to endure. one quote was pretty good from that talk and it was "if the only convert from your mission is you, then that's ok. because you need to be truly converted before you can have any hope of converting anyone else." which I know that and that's really what I'm hoping. cause I need some miracle to make me know that I need religion in my life and that this is the true church. so with that, I will continue to endure and pray that the lord will testify in a way to make me feel (in my heart) and make me KNOW that this is it. I want to be happy and we're taught god does too so let's all hope something happens. I love my district though, (still struggling with my comp, good guy we just don't click super well and it's hard and taught me patience {which I already thought I had...}) great guys and some of them I can see me keeping in touch with here after. There's a total of ten Elders, and there's only 4 that are going to Columbus, me, my comp and my other two roomies, and I love my roomies. and then the other six are going to New, Mexico. definitely a cool bond. I've only known them for a couple weeks, but when you spend every second of the day with them you grow close, fast. It was sad saying bye to Nana and Grandpa. the last family for two years. I would find them during meals and talk for a few minutes before I found my district and ate. But I love them and they continue to help me always. and I can't wait for ties now :D:D haha. We got our Itinerary's and we fly out Wednesday the 10th and we have to wake up at 4. bleh... then we all fly together to Ohio.. Days are long, weeks are fast. I can call home next week as my "letter home" so yeah. that's that. I've never been so mentally and emotionally (and occasionally phsically {when I eat to much and can't make it up the stairs}) in my life but I know it will be made up after.
LOVE you ALL!! and miss you all.
Elder Derrek Bowler


Just wanted to give an update with Derrek...

The MTC called this morning (they don't waste time!).  They are going to start him on Wellbutrim (sp?).   I was thinking that with the history of the Bowler side (anxiety/depression/panic) and the Steurer side (depression and ?!?), my kids are pretty much screwed!  I might as well just start them all on a regiment of Wellbutrim!!!  The MTC asked if there was any family history of depression and I just would be "yes".  I am hoping that this will calm him down (or lift him up) mentally so that he can think clearer and feel "normal".  I know in the past that when I took Paxil after having Dallen, it was a tremendous help and I could function.  It's definitely not a fun place to be and knowing that something isn't right, and thinking you should just be able to fix it on your own is frustrating.  I am glad he went and got help, truly feeling like something was just not right.  

Anyway, they said that they would check him in a week to see how he is doing (he's supposed to fly to Ohio next Wednesday!), and if he's not where they think he should be, then they will keep him at the MTC for another week (which Derrek yelled "no" in the background), but the mission field is harder and they don't want him stepping into that if he can't handle the MTC.  After that, if he's not where he or they think he should be, then he will be coming back home and we will work things out here.  They also said that when he does fly to Ohio, he will have help assisted to him there as well and he will be taken care of.  This is truly a moment where it is completely out of our hands and in the hands of the Lord.  He knows Derrek better, anyway :).   I got to talk to Derrek and he seemed relieved that there could be help.  I didn't realize it was this bad and I think that it was while he was away in St. George and even when he came here a couple months before his mission, but he always had some form of "numbing" device to help him so that he didn't feel or think about things (phone, drums, music, etc.).  I guess I just know what to look for to let me know when I should have taken him in.  Lessons learned...